Why Twitter may remove the ‘like’ button

Some users believe the idea doesn’t go far enough to tackle far-right content

Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey says the company wants to incentivise healthy conversation
(Image credit: 2018 Getty Images)

Twitter is on the brink of removing its “like” button in an attempt to “improve the quality of debate” on the platform, according to reports.

Jack Dorsey, the social media site’s founder and chief executive, allegedly said at a private Twitter event last week that he is not a fan of the heart-shaped “like” button and plans to scrap the feature “soon”, The Daily Telegraph claims.

Since its introduction in 2015, the “like” tool is used to show “appreciation of people’s status updates”, but the newspaper says that psychologists believe the feature could be causing social media addiction for those “who crave endorsement from their peers”.

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According to Metro, “most” smartphone users look at their phones for around five hours a day and roughly 11% of users in Western countries “are thought to suffer from some form of technology addiction”.

Responding to the Telegraph’s report, Twitter said it is “rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivising healthy conversation”. But it added that any changes are still some way off.

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What do the users think?

Twitter users are not too fond of the idea, it seems.

A number of people on social media believe Dorsey’s plan to scrap the “like” button doesn’t go far enough to remove far-right posts, an issue that came to a head when the platform refused to ban controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones earlier this year.

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Other users, meanwhile, joked that the “like” button would be replaced by people writing messages of approval for each post, which would “clog” discussion threads.

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